A heartbroken Ronaldo Mulitalo speaks out after being denied Queensland debut just hours before kick-off.

A heartbroken Ronaldo Mulitalo has had his State of Origin debut denied on the morning of the game after Queensland Rugby League withdrew the winger citing concerns over his eligibility.
The New Zealand-born talent was in camp all week as 19th man before receiving a late call-up to the side when Reece Walsh suffered an injury during Saturday’s captain’s run.
Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Ronaldo Mulitalo was initially called into the Queensland side after Reece Walsh withdrew due to injury.
No sooner was Mulitalo’s eligibility being officially questioned by the NSWRL after an article surfaced from 2019 claiming he moved to Queensland just shy of his 14th birthday.
Under current eligibility requirements, players must have lived in either NSW or Queensland prior to their 13th birthday.
READ MORE:* NZ Warriors rookie Reece Walsh ruled out of State of Origin with injury * State of Origin and Wallabies test on the move amid Covid chaos* Chanel Harris-Tavita to make shock return to Warriors team this season
The NRL executive met on Saturday night before the QRL officially withdrew the 21-year-old just hours before kick-off at Suncorp Stadium.
In a social media post on Sunday, Mulitalo said he was heartbroken and lost for words over the mix-up.
All I wanted to do was don this maroon jersey and represent this great state, he wrote on Instagram.
Although its not tonight I promise Ill do my best to work through this and open myself up to another opportunity. For now theres a series to be won and I (sic) got full confidence in the boys in maroon.
The Maroons believed the Cronulla winger was eligible because he had already played for Queensland’s under-18 and under-20 sides, albeit potentially only because of administrative oversight.
The QRL will present a case to the NRL in coming days that will argue for his Queensland eligibility.
It incredibly left coach Paul Green scrambling for a game-day replacement with Brisbane winger Xavier Coates called in for an extraordinary recall after he was dropped in the aftermath to the game one loss.
Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Ronaldo Mulitalo in action for the Sharks.
Due to Covid-19 protocols and public health orders, the NRL advised the QRL that Mulitalo’s replacement must be an eligible player from a Queensland-based NRL club.
The Maroons are already without injured hooker Harry Grant and fullbacks Kalyn Ponga, AJ Brimson and Walsh, who was poised to debut after just seven NRL games.
NSW trounced Queensland 50-6 in Townsville and will start heavy favourites to secure the series in Brisbane.